It takes about 5 days to climb Kilimanjaro, which is the highest mountain in Africa and one of the largest extinct volcanoes. Any physically fit person can climb it. No climbing experience is necessary. The mountain climb can be in any month except during long rains in April and May. The best months are January to March and August to October usually with cloudless days. There are two peaks: Mawenzi-5149m and Kibo–5895m.
(Mawenzi from Saddle)
Probably no other mountain in the world has the same mystique and appeal of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa at 19,340 ft. (5,900m). It is also the highest mountain on earth that is not part of a mountain range and its snow-capped peak hovers majestically over the African plain. This is a very challenging but rewarding trek!
Marangu route (also called 'Coca Cola Route' is the easiest and the most popular route up Kilimanjaro with excellent well-defined trails . Marangu is the classic trail with comfortable mountain huts and good facilities intermittently spaced at ideal locations. The hikers' summit is Gillman's Point - 5685m on the crater rim, but more energetic hikers can continue on to Uhuru Peak - 5896m, the actual summit and the highest point on the African continent!
The Marangu route offers climbers an opportunity to socialize with other climbers from all over the world. The descent is via the same trail. An extra night at Horombo Huts is recommended and it offers climbers a chance to acclimatize. An experienced Tanzanian guide and porters, who will carry the bulk of your gear, will escort you during the climb and prepare all meals during the climb.
DAY 1: Board shuttle bus from Nairobi at 0800 hrs and proceed to Arusha arriving at 1330hrs. Depart for Moshi at 1400hrs arriving at 1530hrs. Overnight at the Keys Annex hotel in Moshi.
Day 2: Marangu Gate (1,828m) to Mandara Hut (2,743m)
Elevation Gain: 915 meters
Hiking Time: 3 to 5 hours
Distance: 6 kilometers
After breakfast, vehicle transfer to Marangu gate. Start the climb through fascinating rain forests till you reach the first hut Mandara. Meals and overnight at the hut.
The A-frame Mandara Huts(meal time)can accommodate up to seventy people and consist of several sleeping huts and a dining area. All of Marangu's huts have beds with mattresses and pillows. During high season, the huts can be crowded and you may have to wait your turn to eat dinner in the dining hall.
Day 3: Mandara Hut (2,743m) to Horombo Hut (3,720m)
Elevation Gain: 977 meters
Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours
Distance: 11 kilometers
After breakfast, follow the ascending path through the alpine - meadow. The altitude begins to change and slowdown your pace while enjoying the flora and the view of Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. Arrive at the Horombo Hut 12km from Mandara. Meals and overnight at the hut.
Although extremely busy, the Horombo Huts are considered to be the nicest lodging on Kilimanjaro. The small, A-frame buildings can accommodate up to eight people each and provide lodging for hikers ascending, descending and acclimatizing. Horombo can accommodate up to one hundred hikers and many more porters, cooks and guides. There is only one dining hut at Horombo, making meal times a bit hectic.
Day 4: Horombo Hut (3,720m) to Kibo Hut (4,750m)
Elevation Gain: 1,030 meters
Hiking Time: 5 to 6 hours
Distance: 11 kilometers
After breakfast, resume the climb, the landscape becomes rugged and rocky. Lobelias begin to appear. Climb to Kibo Hut. Meals and overnight at the hut.
The Kibo huts are made of stone and are not very warm. Make sure you have a four-season sleeping bag or a three-season bag with an extra sleep sheet. Most hikers experience some of the effects of altitude sickness at this point. Be sure you are aware of altitude sickness symptoms, and if you are feeling very sick, please tell your guide.
Day 5: Kibo Hut (4,750m) to Summit (5,895m) to Horombo Hut (3,720m)
Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters
Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters
Hiking Time: 12 to 15 hours
Distance to Uhuru: 5 kilometers
Distance from Uhuru to Horombo: 16 kilometers
The beginning of the last ascent is made in the wee hrs of the morning while the scree is still frozen. Climb the very steep part of the route to GILMANS POINT (most difficult and tiring part). UHURU PEAK is reached within an hour's walk along the crater rim. (19,344ft). Start the walk along the craters rim. (19,344ft). Start the descent to Horombo hut for overnight.
Day 6: Horombo Hut (3,720m) to Marangu Gate (1,828m)
Elevation Loss: 1,892 meters
Distance: 17 kilometers
Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours
Vehicle transfer from the gate back to Moshi. Check in at the hotel. After lunch, have a good rest at the hotel. Overnight at Keys Annex hotel BB.
DAY 7: After breakfast, depart for your next destination, which is optional, either:
(a) The National Park (This can be arranged)
(b) Kilimanjaro International Airport
(c) Arusha Town
(d) Nairobi via border town Namanga